Re: “A misinterpretation of the Second Amendment,” Leader, Jan. 17 Editor: Excellent! About time somebody explained the realities about the Second Amendment. If only those that need to know would take the time to understand! 21st century citizens need to understand five other salient points concerning the Second Amendment:
1. 18th century communication consisted of hand-written letters, newspapers and books. Instant electronic communication (The Internet, Facebook, Twitter, email, telephones) didn’t exist and weren’t even a part of their vernacular or an idea in anyone’s head.
2. 18th century transportation delivered communications by walking, horseback or stagecoach over land, sailing ships by sea. Hard-surfaced roads, interstate highways, railroads, airplanes, or engine-powered container ships didn’t exist and weren’t even a part of their vernacular, or an idea in anyone’s head.
3. 18th century transportation of communications took place by walking, horseback, stagecoach or sailing ships, and often took days, weeks and sometimes months to reach its destination.
4. Standing armies didn’t exist. The federal government and the fledging states (colonies?) couldn’t afford them, as they were burdened with Revolutionary War debt.
5. If standing armies did exist, deploying them to defend against any civil or military situation was not feasible. An army in North Carolina couldn’t be sent to New York to quell the situation in a timely manner.
Under those 18th century realities, the only viable option was to enable the separate states to defend themselves with a citizen militia, hence the Second Amendment.
The original concept of the Second Amendment had nothing to do with individual rights to own firearms. It had everything to do with the separate states defending themselves from any civil or military situation.
The 18th century militia has morphed into the current National Guard, which is commanded by the governor of the state in which it exists. Currently, the president of the U.S.A. must obtain permission from the governor in order to activate and/or deploy a state’s National Guard.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court has altered the Second Amendment to enable individual rights of gun ownership, that doesn’t mean that individuals are released from the responsibilities of gun safety and human compassion. The world’s most lax, ineffective gun laws, regulations and rules have made the U.S.A. one of the industrialized world’s most violent.
That is exactly why we must change to be more civilized about the responsibilities and safety of gun ownership.